Home Insight - Property Value and Home Price Check
Practical Tips for Moving
Written by: Lankarge / Nahorney

Congratulations – you’ve found the home of your dreams. Now it’s time to organize the big move, get packing, and decide whether to move yourself or hire professionals.

As soon as you begin preparing for the move you may find that you have things packed in boxes from your last move. Instead of moving these boxes again, consider holding a moving/tag sale to get rid of some of these possessions, and to make some money as well.

If you have children, you’ll find that a great way to help them transition to your new home is to get them involved in the moving process. Depending on their age you can have them help you to do everything from deciding on what size truck you need, to collecting packing materials and boxes, to packing their room.


Here are some tips:

  • You can get your new home organized much quicker if you spend a little time organizing the move before you start packing. Develop a system for marking boxes, for example kitchen 1, and then make a list of everything you pack in that box.
  • Buy packing materials from moving companies or companies that rent moving trucks. Be sure to get the right boxes and packing supplies for the job.  That means sturdy boxes, not too large for heavier loads, and plenty of packing supplies to cushion your fragile possessions.
  • Begin packing several weeks before moving. This way you can take your time packing the non essential items well before the big move, and obtain valuable packing knowledge that will come in handy when you begin packing your more valued possessions.
  • Consider the benefits of packing or hiring professionals to do so. Doing you own packing will save you money, and can make unpacking easier because you’ll know what’s in each box. However, hiring professionals to pack and unpack your most valued possessions can help to ensure they arrive intact.
  • Delicate electronics such as microwaves, computers, monitors, scanners and printers shouldn’t be jarred during a move. If possible, pack them in their original boxes with the original packing material. Next best is finding sturdy boxes and packing them in bubble wrap.
  • Packing china is an art. If you choose to pack it yourself, you will want to invest in special boxes designed for valuable plates. In addition to these specially designed boxes, you’ll need packing paper, bubble wrap, and styrofoam peanuts to protect your china during shipping. And be sure to carefully place the boxes in the moving van for maximum safety.

Should you hire a mover?

  • If you’re considering moving yourself, survey all your possessions before trying to determine what size moving van to rent. While most companies will provide you with guidelines based on how many rooms of furniture you have, they don’t know if you have your attic packed with stuff, or an overfilled shed.
  • Movers can cost anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on how much you’re moving, how much you want movers to do, and how far you’re moving. In the current buyers’ market, you might consider negotiating with the seller to pay for your moving expenses.
  • Moving companies often specialize in local or long distance moves. Be sure to ask real estate agents, friends, and co-workers for referrals. And if possible, select a mover with Better Business Bureau certification.
  • Not every mover has expertise in moving overweight items such as pool tables, pianos, or gym-quality exercise equipment. If you own items such as these, you’ll want to start looking for a mover, and also perhaps a specialty mover, at least two months before moving.
  • Plants don’t like extreme temperatures. During a move, protect them from quick swings of temperatures, warm to cold or vice versa. Before the move, be sure to water them on your normal schedule – too much water can lead to fungus in the summer, and cold shock in the winter.


Moves can be tough on your pets. Here are some ideas for taking better care of them:

  • A move can be quite stressful on your dog. If you’re moving within a few hours driving distance, be sure to acclimate your dog to car rides. And when you move into your new home, find a place for their crate or special blanket that will make your dog feel at home.
  • Small animals, such as rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs can be frazzled by a move. The smaller the animal, the more sensitive they are to hot and cold temperatures. For their comfort and safety, be sure the temperature is around 70 degrees while they are being transported.
  • Tropical and salt water fish get highly stressed during moves. If you’re moving no more than an hour or so, put them and aquarium water in bags half filled with air. For moves greater than an hour or so, considering giving your fish away and getting new ones at your new home.

Moving your valuables

  • To protect valuable investments, many people with fine antiques choose to have them professionally moved. Ask movers how your valuables will be protected – long distance movers often use custom crates, rather than simply packing antiques in cartons with padding and stretch wrap.
  • When moving valuables such as antiques, quality china, stemware or chandeliers, consider getting qualified appraisals for the pieces prior to your move. That way you’ll have proof of their value should any damage occur during the move.
  • The key to moving fine wine is keeping the bottles at 55 to 60 degrees. That means that if you’re moving in the summer, your wine won’t do very well in a moving van. Consider contacting a company that specializes in moving fine wine, or if you are moving it locally, move it yourself in your air conditioned car or van.
  • Companies that specialize in moving cars from state to state offer a variety of services. If your car is worth a lot of money, you’ll want to consider paying extra to have it moved in a closed carrier or at least on the top of the transport vehicle.
  • When it comes to moving big screen televisions, pack them in their original boxes or hire a company that specializes in moving them. If your big screen television is more than a few years old and you are moving long distance, consider selling it and buying a new model – moving it can be expensive.

>Moving your stuff


  • Moving exercise equipment such as treadmills or elliptical trainers can be tricky. First, be sure to secure all moving pieces. Next, be sure to carry them by sturdy parts. Finally, in the moving truck be sure not to pile anything on the electronics.
  • Move dumbbells or free weights with care. Unless you have reinforced boxes, consider keeping them loose in the moving van. But be sure to carefully secure them in the van with rope, or pin them alongside large pieces of furniture – loose weights can cause damage en route.
  • Lawn mowers, snow blowers, and other power equipment need special care during moves. For safety, run all of the gasoline out of the machine, and empty the oil. Disconnect the spark plug for additional safety. And be sure to secure the equipment in the moving van with rope and by blocking the wheels.
  • If you’re moving area rugs or draperies, consider sending them to the dry cleaners just prior to your move. That way they will be clean when you move into your new home – and you can leave them wrapped in plastic to keep them clean during the move.
  • Many people have valuable information on their computers, including financial data, personal records, and addresses and phone numbers for family and friends. Before moving your computer, consider backing up all your personal files and keeping the backups with you during the move.
  • Before you move be sure to clean the gas grill. And while you have the grill apart, pack the grades, briquettes or other loose items, placing them back inside the grill for safety. Propane tanks, full or empty, will likely not be accepted by most moving companies.

Today’s homes are often loaded with gadgets, from programmable thermostats, to heated tile floors, solar panels, and security systems. Be sure you get the manuals, or at least instructions, on how to operate all electronic gadgets that will be included in your new home.

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